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Randolph "R.J." Samuels '13: From the Court to the Classroom

Student, Alumni, Spotlight, Graduate Student


Randolph "R.J." Samuels
 

Published:

September 23, 2013
Tagged: Ruth S. Ammon School of Education, STEP Program
 

Randolph "R.J." Samuels '13: From the Court to the Classroom

Student, Alumni, Spotlight, Graduate Student


 

by Stephen Levine

“Adelphi has a good student-to-teacher ratio [10:1] and I get to interact with the same students on a daily basis.” –Randolph “R.J.” Samuels ’13

Whether he’s taking the court as a 6-foot-3 guard for the basketball team or working in the laboratory to earn a bachelor’s degree in physics, Randolph “R.J.” Samuels ’13 has made the most of his time at Adelphi University.

In February 2013, Mr. Samuels received the Cecil Watkins Memorial Award, bestowed annually by the Adelphi athletics department upon the male and the female student-athlete who excel in the classroom, in athletic competition and in the community. Mr. Samuels accepted the award from Valerie Watkins, whose late husband played basketball at Adelphi and then worked for the National Basketball Association for 17 years. He is enshrined in the Adelphi University Sports Hall of Fame.

During Adelphi’s 2012–2013 basketball season, Mr. Samuels, a Trenton, New Jersey, native, finished third on the Panthers in field-goal accuracy, making 44 percent of his shots. He played high school basketball at Life Center Academy, where he helped his team reach the state finals as a sophomore and was voted the team’s Most Valuable Player as a senior.

Mr. Samuels selected Adelphi after visiting the Garden City campus. As part of the Scholar Teacher Education Program (S.T.E.P.), he is pursuing a master’s degree in education.

“There’s a good student-to-teacher ratio [10:1] and I get to interact with the same students on a daily basis,” Mr. Samuels said in explaining why he enjoys taking classes at Adelphi.

Mr. Samuels decided on a career in education during his high school years when he traveled to a village in El Salvador with a religious group that held ministries there for children.

“It’s important to show that there are people in the world who care about them,” Mr. Samuels said. “It actually gave me a better insight into what I wanted to do, which is to find a way to make kids smile.”

Seeing what people in less fortunate circumstances had to endure made him grateful for what he had, said R.J., whose initials stand for Randolph Jr. His parents, Randolph Sr. and Connie, have another son and two daughters.

Mr. Samuels is determined to earn his graduate degree in the Ruth S. Ammon School of Education and achieve success in the professional world. He said being part of an athletic team while in college was easy once he learned the importance of concentration and time management.

“Put academics first,” he said. “Don’t get behind in your work and always keep in contact with your professors.”

Mr. Samuels said he hopes to become a physical education teacher while coaching a sports team. For now, he’s taking classes, working as an assistant coach for the Panthers basketball team and enjoying all that being at a university just 23 miles from New York City, the world’s cultural capital, has to offer.

“It’s been a good experience,” he said. “I get to meet a lot of people from New York and have good friends and experiences that will last a lifetime.”
    

 
Tagged: Ruth S. Ammon School of Education, STEP Program
 
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